But now did you notice I said that a prophetic time is a 360-day year? Why not a 365 1/4 days? Why not a solar year?
In ancient biblical times, a year was figured on a basis of twelve 30-day months. Previous to the time, in Moses' day, when God gave His people the sacred calendar, the 30-day month was used.
Notice Genesis 7:11: In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. Now verse 24: And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.
Next, Genesis 8:3-4: And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
So notice - the flood started on the 17th day of the second month. At the end of 150 days, the ark rested on Mount Ararat, on the 17th day of the 7th month. That was five months to the day. Five 30-day months are precisely 150 days. So months, then, were 30-day months!
We find it definitely figured this way in both Daniel and Revelation. In Revelation 12:6, a prophecy of an event which in actual history did last 1260 solar years is spoken of as a thous and two hundred and threescore days. So here, again, a prophetic day was a year in fulfillment. In Revelation 13:5 (referring to a different event but the same amount of time) this same period of 1260 days being fulfilled in 1260 solar years is spoken of as forty and two months. Now 42 calendar months, according to the calendar now in use, would not be 1260 days, but 1276 days - and, if a leap year occurred, 1277. Or, if the extra half-year happened to be the last half of the year, it would be 1280 or 1281 days. But the 42 months of Revelation 13:5 is the same amount of time as the 1260 days of Revelation 12:6. So the 42 months were 30-day months.
The same amount of days is spoken of in still different language in Revelation 12:14 as a time, and times, and half a time. The time is one prophetic year; the times is two more prophetic years; and the whole expression is 3 1/2 prophetic times, which is a literal 1260 days - or 3 1/2 years of thirty-day months. Seven of these times then would be 2520 days - and on a day-for-a-year basis, 2520 years!
Then in Daniel 12:7 the same expression time, times, and a half [time] is mentioned.
Enough space is being taken here to make this concept plain, clear, understandable. For it is basic to several key prophecies.
A prophetic time, then, is a 360-day year - or a plain 360 days. And during those years of Israel's punishment, as made plain by combining Leviticus 26:18 with Ezekiel 4:4-6, Numbers 14:34, and Revelation 13:5 and 12:6, each day of a prophetic time was one year in fulfillment. In Leviticus 26:18, and in Revelation 12:6 and 13:5, this meaning is verified and PROVED by the fact that the prophecy was fulfilled in precisely the time indicated.
Day for a Year Principle
And now comes the day-for-a-year principle: After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years. . . (verse 34). And this punishment was, in fact, a WITHHOLDING of the promised blessing for this duration of forty years.
In order to impress on the prophet Ezekiel the seriousness of Israel's years of rebellion against God's rule and God's laws which would cause great blessings, God imposed this very principle on him - but it was enacted in reverse.
This sins of the house of Israel had continued from their rejection of God as King for 390 years. Naturally God could not expect this prophet, in a human lifetime, to undergo the bearing of these years of sin on the basis of each day of sinning being borne by him for a year. That would have required 2,000 lifetimes. So God reversed the actual application of the principle. Ezekiel was required to bear Israel's sins a day for each year they had sinned. But it still was the day-for-a-year principle!
Ezekiel was told to lie on his left side, in an imaginary siege against Jerusalem, pictured on a tile before him. Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year (Ezek. 4:4-6). It is mentioned further in verse 9.
But in the other application of the day-for-a-year principle, previously explained, where it applied also to a duration of punishment put on THE PEOPLE, the punishment was to be borne by them on the basis of a year of punishment for each day. Also in this case, the punishment was the number of years during which a promised blessing was withheld.
Now when we come to the expression then I will punish you seven times more for your sins in Leviticus 26, it is evident both by its manner of wording in the sentence and by the fact of actual fulfillment that it was speaking of a DURATION of seven prophetic times, or YEARS. And on this year-for-a-day principle, it becomes seven 360-day years - a total of 2520 days. And when each day is a year of punishment - in this case, as in Numbers 14:34, a withholding of a promised blessing - the punishment becomes the withdrawing of and withholding the promised blessings for 2520 years! For that is precisely what did happen!